When was it a good thing to be a bully? Who was the clown who almost wrecked Cleopatra’s suicide scene in William Shakespeare’s play? What have singing goats got to do with tragedy? Were Cossack cavalrymen the first to eat in a bistro, and were twittering birds the first to use jargon. Above all, what have King Henry VIII and Paddington Bear got in common?
The answers to these questions can be found in My Word! Author Peter Sargent has long been intrigued and often bamboozled by the language we use in everyday speech.
In this book he looks at nearly a hundred common words that people from all works of life bandy about with abandon rarely thinking about where they came from, how their use has changed and is continuing to change.
It’s an entertaining and informative journey through the jungle of ancient and modern language.
Priced at £10, it will be available at Jarrolds and Waterstones in Norwich as well as online at Amazon.
In the meantime you can read an excerpt from the book telling the story behind the word capricious.
It is published by Paul Dickson Books in Norwich.